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workstations equipped for people with disabilities. [applause] collectively, the result of this work in san francisco and in the city and -- cities and states across the country, will create templates for success that organizations around the rest of the country can replicate in order to help their communities move online. and getting communities online is the reason that we are so invested in this effort. it is critical to our future, because broadband drives economic growth, and broadband creates jobs. it provides the infrastructure that communities need to attract innovative businesses in a competitive, global landscape. broadband also allows businesses of all sizes to reach markets around the world. people who are aging or disabled have unfortunately historically been at the margins of new technologies when they are introduced. today, as broadband internet
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brings expanded opportunities in health care, education, and civic participation, projects like this one here in san francisco are critical to making sure that all communities have access to life changing technologies. [applause] high-speed internet connections make it possible for patients in rural areas to consult with medical specialists who are hundreds of miles away, for students to take online classes and universities across the country, and for governments to deliver services more efficiently and more easily to their constituents. for seniors, especially those whose families may live in different states or in different countries, broadband allows families to bond together in a way that telephone just never did. my own parents and all live in mexico city, and we are lucky
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because we both of broadband connections in our home. if a few weeks ago we got on skype. we set up the computer in our kitchen, and they set it up in their dining room but they instructed my husband and me as we tried to make one of their favorite meals. and they kind of scoffed when we were beating the dough too much and smiled when we had an almost round 40 a. for us, it is a the best way to connect because they live very far away and we do not get to see the mother rise. it is an important way for all of us to be able to connect with our families and with our communities. for americans living with disabilities, many of whom are also aging americans, broadband and commuters -- computers can provide even more critical tools for health and wellness. they allow someone with a speech impairment to e-mail her doctor, a person who is mobility limited to its in glasses -- classes
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online, and for someone else to work at home. 29% of people with disabilities would join the work force if telecommuting were actually a viable option for them. before working at home, however, broadband is now a necessity for anyone searching for a job. many job openings are only posted online. about 80% of fortune 500 companies only accept job applications online. and about 60% of working americans use the internet as an integral part of their jobs every single day. if you do not have broadband, you are increasingly cut off from these opportunities. and unfortunately, ntia's own research shows that they're still too many americans who are on the wrong side of this and digital divide. in collaboration with the u.s. since then -- since his bureau, ntia conducts the most
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extensive survey work of broadband friends in the u.s., most recently in october 2010, not very long ago. it showed that 60% of americans subscribe to broadband. that is up to a 68% is up from 51% in 2007 and 64% in 2010. but that still leaves roughly one-third of americans who do not have access to the internet at home. also troubling, our survey reveals that there is still a substantial digital divide that breaks down a lot -- along traditional racial, ethnic, age, and geographical lines and by disability status. for example, 72% of white households had broadband access at home. compared with only 55% of african-american households and 57% of hispanic households.
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that is a 17 and 15-point difference. there is a similar divide between urban and rural america, where 70% of urban households have access at home, but only 57% of rural households are subscribing to broadband. seniors in people with disabilities also have far lower rates of adoption in the kent -- then the country as a whole. almost half of all households headed by someone with a disability did not have a computer. compare that to only 20% of households that do not have a computer if they were headed by someone without a disability. similarly, 43% of homes headed by someone with a disability subscribed to broadband compared to 72% of all homes, a 29-point difference. our data also shows that older americans, particularly those 65
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and older, are less likely to live in a home with a computer or to have broadband internet access at home. and what is more, as we look further into this data, we found that when we looked at other socioeconomic factors, like in come or education, it did not fully explain it the gaps. even after accounting for a socio-economic and geographic factors, african-american and hispanic households still lack a white household in broadband adoption by 11 percentage points. at rural households still lacked urban households by five percentage points. these ongoing disparities and our critical need for our nation's future to overcome them are white today's summit is so important -- why today's
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summit is so important. the work san francisco is doing and has accomplished is important. together with our grantees, we're working on the frontline to close these gaps in injuring no one is left behind in the technical revolution. as of the end of 2011, the top grantees had installed your updated more than 45,000 miles of broadband telecommunications lines. they had upgraded and improved service to more than 6000 anchor institutions. schools, libraries, hospitals across 35 different states. they install more than 29,000 workstations in public computer centers, and they had produced what is really amazing, 260,000 new broadband subscribers, as we hope many of you here today will become. the top projects are reaching every state and territory across the u.s., and at ntia, we're gratified to watch what this
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team has accomplished here in san francisco. to the top program overall, this project represents critical investments in the future of our nation, investments that are producing immediate benefits but are also going to pay dividends for years to come. thank you again for inviting us to be a part of today's summit. it is truly an honor, and we look forward to continuing to see more great projects and more wonderful events like this here in san -- in san francisco. thank you. [applause] >> well, as the kids say, that is information you can use. thank you so much. our next speaker is the co- founder and chief scientific officer of post-it science. he heads the company's goal
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team that has for more than three decades. he has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. in the late 1980's, he was responsible for inventing something that i hope to own on my own, and in plans to approve my hearing. in 1996, he was the founder and ceo of scientific learning corporation, which markets and distributes software that applies principles of brain plasticity to assist children with language learning in reading. we are plowing -- proud to have him join us today to take part in this forum. [applause] >> thank you. i want to one-upping the mayor
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and say that today is my 70th birthday. [applause] still alive and raising cain. i also want to say that i am a proud citizen of this city and a public servant at the university of california, in this city for more than 45 years. it is wonderful to be here and wonderful to be with you today. i want to say, before i start, that you should understand that i was permitted by the university of california on a leave of absence from the science corporation, and i profit by what they do. at the end, i am going to talk about things that they do that a person can buy and understand that you can regard me as having a conflict of interest when i talk about things that i might profit by. i want you to know that. i also want to say that i will talk about science, because i am a nerd.
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it is officials. i want you to know that it is a team signs. hundreds of scientists and engineers and professional clinicians of different kinds and other technologists have contributed to it, and i represent them to a large extent is because i am the oldest, and certainly not because i am the smartest. so, i want to talk about your plastic brain. you have a very valuable asset inside your skull, of course, and that is your brain. it is very valuable, especially because it is plastic. i want to tell you what that means a tell you about the signs that shows us that that plasticity is actually result could again drive improvements in our abilities or, alas, it can take us backward into in a negative direction. i want to talk about what controls living in a positive or negative direction, because you sure do want to go in a positive
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direction. finally, want to talk about how we try to use this science with technology to help you sustain your brain health. i will give you advice about other things you can undo, whether your problem is a disability or you have that comment disability that applies to every one of us, you're simply having another birthday, like i am today. ok? on the path to a better, healthier, say few -- safer, and hopefully happier life. first, what you know that we used to think not very long ago, the predominant scientific view was that the brain grew up in the early life. it was a time of maturation. then it became fixed buying connectivity and wiring. then it was like a computer that was hard wired. and the only way it had to go from a very early point to a life was downhill. because it matured very early, basically there was a mysterious operating system and mysterious algorithms that accounted for your progression of learning, but as a physical and
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functional machine, it was stabbed in the only thing it did from a very early time in young child was to go south. we now know that is completely false. we now know that the brain is continuously changing. we now know that each time you acquire a new skill or ability, the brain is actually changing its wiring. id is actually changing its functionality. is actually specializing. answer that specialization, your account for the development of the skill or ability in play. we know this occurs throughout life. in fact commit to the end of life, because we know we can improve our ability and we can acquire a new skill to the end of life. here we have an older woman who has acquired a skill in later life, basket weaving. we know that because she has developed a special ability at this point in life, she has remodeled her brain, and that accounts for her developing of
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this expertise. this is in play in our lives and throughout our lives because our lives are so richly varied from early childhood onward, we create, through billions of moments of brain change, an incredible individuation of ourselves so that through these changes, we have a special ability is shared by no one else in this room in exact form. we have special knowledge and understanding, things that have driven changes in our brain that are unlike anyone else in this room, in fact, anyone else in the world because of this incredible gift, we are unique creatures in the world. unique in the vitiated individuals unlike any other, any other person in detail, whoever it was or whoever it will be. what a gift. i realized as a young scientist that it was a challenge to try to understand how to draw this great power, to drive brains in approving or strengthening your
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human benefit with a special concern about people who are beginning to be in trouble because of an impairment or disability or because something has happened to them in life, like they were merely getting older. i want to talk about that science and how we try to apply in use it to helping people in need. first of all, i want to say that there is a special thing about this plasticity as it relates to ourselves. that is to say it is constructed on the basis of moment to moment association of things that go together or the things that are expected to occur in the next moment in time. one thing that always goes with everything we feel, everything we do, every act we have had, every thought is a reference to the actor, to the player, to the doer, and that references to ourself. all of that derives massive plastic self-reference. we have to construct and enrich
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a strongly center itself, a person, in our brain through its changing itself in a powerful, plastic way. we're also constructed through these same processes to attach to the other people, to the other things we are close to in life. that is the basis of the attachment of the mother to the child or the child to the mother. through millions of the events of contact and interaction, all of those counts in ways that actually grow the child into the person that is the mother. we are constructed to build attachments between mother and child, between friends, across our families, and across our communities. this is something that we have to nourish, that we have to keep alive, that we have to keep healthy. we're constricted to do this in a bridge for by the way our brains are constructed, by the way we are constructed and live our lives. i want to say a special thing about plasticity but that is the son of a process -- that is that
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the processes in place are reversible. we have studied this, and it demonstrated this to be so. these studies begin by looking at something like an animal like a rat that might be any prime of life, upper left, and a rat that might be at the end of life, below. we know this rat is old, because he has white whiskers and white paws. so if you see a red with white paws in a garage, i'd like to say be nice to him, because he is old. of course, we're also even more interested in a younger or older adult human. what we're interested in our differences in the brain operations of the old versus the young. we have looked at this in science. we have looked at it in almost everywhere you can think of of the operational characteristics of old and young brains. what we see on average is that everything we look at is different. you could say, well, how many of those things that are different,
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physically, functionally, are chemically, really seem to be stronger, releasing to advantage the old brain? the answer is, none of them. alas, old is slower and less precise, less refined. old is slowly deteriorating. but there is good news in a moment, just wait for a moment. ok? [laughter] then we ask, how complex of the way we have to train the rat or how complex what we have to train the human to reverse these characteristics that define them as old? first, let me say something about being old. you could say if we're all deteriorating when we're older, why the heck do young people tolerate us? the answer is simple. something grows in this through life, and that is acknowledged. older people know things. they have lived life. that experience. not only do they have knowledge,
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they have manipulated that knowledge in complex ways in their brain, and the have come too intelligent conclusions about them. we call it wisdom. if you do not believe that, imagine a world war ii with britain led by a 25-year-old winston churchill. right? you need wisdom. you need wisdom. society's need wisdom and knowledge. they value older people. but operationally, functionally, you know, we slow down. we're less precise. we remember less. we're less effective than we could or should be. we asked the question of how complicated with the training be, and what did these things are reimbursable -- reversible? i will tell you, everything is reversible. everything can be improved. every dimension of the physical, functional brain can be reversed in a positive direction. it is all reversible. we're constructed to be
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basically reversible. so, first of all, we look at the process of the brain as it relates to the alertness of the brain. look at recovery. we look at the process as it relates to the intentional control of the bravin. we look at the accuracy as to how the brain receives information. is schematically approved by training. we can speed up the brain almost always by two to three-fold in an old animal or human not so far away from the end of life. we look at an animal and dealing with complex information occurring across time, and it has improved. we look to the processes that relate to the flexibility of the operation of the brain and their dramatically improved. we look to the processes that relate to memory or recording information in the brain. everything is approved.
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physically, functionally, and chemically improved. this is an asset we should use. but how can we use it? before describe that, i want to say -- you know, how do you turn an old brain that appears to be deteriorating into a physically and functioning younger one? the answer is, you train it. you have to train inappropriately. there are certain strategies that have to be applied, obviously. another question is, why does the brain deteriorate to start with? why is it is degrading? the simple answer is, you reach a peak and about the third decade in life, and then slowly, slowly noise ines begins to creep into the process of the brain. you can think of it as growing chatter in the brain. we know that because we can add noise in the brain in various ways, and in science we would
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not do this in a human, but we could do this in a rat. and over two or three or four weeksa four rat in the prime of life -- four weeks, the brain of the rat looks like the brain at the end of life. we see an interesting thing when we look at the detail. we open up the characteristics of the brain near the end of life if we carried this do it far enough extent so that the brain looks very much like the brain of a child, of a baby that has had literally no experience. if you think of these processes is being reversible, of course that is true. we come out of the noise, you can say, and we refine our processes and get more confident in processing information and more accuracy, and we reach a peak, and then we slowly decline back into the direction with which we came. and the culprit, what is causing this, is the growth of noise in
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our brain. where does the noise come from? it comes from, in part, because in the early part of our life, where continuously learning and refining. then we reach a point where we are largely operating automatically. we are largely operating on automatic pilot without thinking very much about the details of what we're doing. as an example, think of this guy sitting in the orchestra. a professional violinist. a master at controlling the fingering hand, a master listener. what happens if he stops practicing in his professional career? what he does not practice for a month? everyone around him knows it. they say, why is he if he stoppg for a year? he has probably lost his job. no one will mistaken for a professional. everyone is worried about bill. what if bill didn't practice for 10 years? he would be pretty good from our
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perspective, he would be bun -- a fun at parties, but no one would really mistake him for being a professional. but what if he decided like to initiate his practice and cover his career? he would improve a lot. there are many instances where people haven't played for a decade or more and recover their abilities. you don't naturally practice in receiving the language that i am delivering to you. you don't practice in the ways that are required to maintain because we don't do it instinctively. one of the reasons that it becomes noisier as we get older because we are, in a sense, not
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practicing enough. the reason we are here is technology. the technology is all about providing input, a life that we can live that doesn't require living life without the troublesome requirement of having much of a brain. these are wonderful things. the american citizen watches this in the upper left for about seven hours a day. that is information without action. i loved it. but in moderation. on the lower left. we see a topographic map from a satellite. what you see in red is the city of baltimore. places where the sunlight does
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not hit the ground because it is all paved. it is to make sure that every footfall is secure and you cannot pay a bit of attention to it. many of you have been doing it for quite a few years now. it is not good to sleepwalk through life. that way we don't have to worry about a thing. there is no bond on the floor. it is designed to be controlled and removed our brains of for having to worry about the details. i use google for an hour or two or three every day and my work and in my life. what a wonderful tool. it reduces exercise in thought through the momentary process of looking up information.
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we don't have to know where we are anymore. we can have someone tell us exactly where we are in the world. and we are also adding noise by the way we live our lives. we can compensate by trading in our brains in recovery direction and we can use technology to do that. how do you reverse age-related cognitive decline? you have to work on the skills and abilities that support accurate vision, balance, and body. you also have to exercise the brains learning machine. if it is slowly dying off. this is really important.
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it is about reestablishing your ability to operate in the world with all of its gloria's details. we accomplished that in part, or we a help accomplish that by constructing computer-based exorcises that use these basic strategies to try to drive these changes and integrate them with high efficiency. these exercises that are available and computers for you to look at today provide the easiest and the most efficient way to get this tell -- this helps. all the time you spend in training is useful. everyone can operate successfully or effectively with that and they can go as far as it can. it is optimized for rate improvement, you get the most bang for your buck.
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it is expensive because there is a lot to fix, or you can say a lot to strengthen. you have to get to a lot that relate to receive information. and using it can thought. it is important that the outcome or the benefits of this be confirmed. it is like a gold standard trial the confirm that you do receive the benefit of the program is designed to deliver. everybody doesn't have an equal benefit, the brain is too complex for this. even find that information,

December 7, 2012 11:00am-11:30am PST

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